• Misty Ratcliff

Local Partnerships Feeds Survivors, Responders, and Local Economy

Waverly, TN -  The Salvation Army is partnering with local restaurants to provided needed meals for survivors and first responders working at the Disaster Recovery Center. 

The Salvation Army is well-known for providing meals to survivors and responders after a disaster, and the tragic flooding in Middle Tennessee is no different-- three meals a day, thanks to community support.

Despite having the capacity and capability to provide the meals through existing Salvation Army infrastructure, utilizing local restaurants not immediately impacted by the flooding provides much-needed support with hometown flair. Local small businesses also need support during this time. Many have been offering free meals to their communities since the storms first hit, but realistically they can’t fund that themselves long-term.  Our partnership uses local financial support to provide needed meals while supporting local business.

Mama’s Table is just one of the restaurants The Salvation Army is partnering with. "Mama" is helping provide breakfast daily, and dinner today. While she might do this for free, because that’s what people do for their neighbors, our partnership passes along the love and support we have been entrusted with by our donors to those who have been loving and supporting their local community from the start.

“Thank you so much…you guys are just awesome,” Mama’s daughter said with a break in her voice from the emotion of realizing that someone wanted to make sure they would be ok too.  Another customer looked at us and said,  “Can I just give you a hug?” 

Lance’s Pizza and a local coffee shop join The Salvation Army in our mission as well.  Local businesses are supporting The Salvation Army as we work to support our neighbors.  The plan is to continue these local partnerships as much as possible; economic support will help ensure the community's overall recovery.

As we worked through Waverly, we found an antique store that wasn’t open “for business," but open for Hope.  A bit of normalcy.  An air-conditioned spot to escape the heat, internet, and phone access for those without it.  A quiet place to just catch your breath.

Days like today bring home the importance of why we support the local heroes. They know their community best; we know these local heroes will be working to restore their neighbors and community for the long haul, and we plan to be here too, working alongside our neighbors.  We will continue to support individual survivors, responders, and the businesses that make up the local economy--together providing help and hope!